What are they?
Stress fractures are, as the name suggests, a fracture (crack) in a bone. Generally small and difficult to detect by x-ray, especially when they are fresh.
What causes them?
They are caused by a chronic imbalance in the degeneration and regeneration of bone. In essence more bone is being broken down than created. When this is first occurring, we refer to it as a stress reaction. These are common, often asymptomatic, but only some; with continued overload, will progress to a fracture.
This imbalance can be caused through many forms of overload, and it is important to remember that decreased tissue/load tolerance is just as important as overload.
Obviously, if we dive into any of the above factors, we can apply specific examples and many sub-categories that vary hugely among individuals.
How are they treated?
It is all about regaining balance. So, just as the factors above can be the cause, re-calibrating them can also be the solution. Initially this calls for an often-dramatic limit to loading. When the body is in this state of chronic focal overload, it is not simply a case of de-loading back to when you felt ok. Instead we drop the load right back to a position that gives the body the best chance of getting ahead of the curve. From there, it is about working with your health professionals, to begin a gradual re-introduction of loading, gently nudging the tolerance to cause positive tissue adaptation.
This is often symptom guided. The team at Fixed are trained to help you address all the factors affecting tolerance throughout recovery e.g. nutrition, sleep hygiene, technique, stress etc.
We also have a phenomenal team of like minded professionals ready to apply their speciality care as required.
Again, we can look at the tabled factors above. It is essentially about managing overload and tolerance. Good sleep, nutrition and mental well-being help maintain a high tolerance to load. While well programmed training, good technique, and appropriate equipment limit unintended overload.
If you are concerned about your personal “load balance” then make a time with one of our team. We spend the time to look at all the factors involved and will help get you on an even keel.